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Town of Delavan fires police chief

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Oct. 5, 2007, 1:09 p.m.)

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The town of Delavan Police and Fire Commission fired police chief Andrew Mayer Wednesday night.

"I have been terminated without cause or prior written notice, which I believe is politically motivated for performing my duties as a sworn officer," Mayer, police chief since February 1999, said in a written statement supplied to The Week.

He declined to comment on what he meant by "politically motivated."

Mayer's contract allowed for termination without cause. He did not feel he did anything to warrant a firing and said he had no problems with any previous town boards.

He did not want to share his feelings about the current board.

Deputy Chief Phil Smith's first duty as acting chief was to inform Mayer of his termination, which he did about 10:30 p.m.

"I've had no contact with any town officials," Mayer said.

Mayer's attorney, Ray

Dall'Osto, received the decision in writing.

"To have a subordinate tell you (that) you are no longer in the position you hold, rather than your employer or superior, that is unusual," he said of the way Mayer was notified.

Mayer is weighing his options, Dall'Osto said.

The chief worked at the pleasure of the police and fire commission and could be fired at any time, according to Mayer's most recent contract, signed in 2002.

"It's my expectation that there was (a reason)," commission chairman Tom Brauer said. He could not comment on the firing, citing private information discussed in a closed session meeting.

Town Chairman Wayne Polzin would not comment because it was a matter taken up by the police and fire commission. Members of the town board were present at the meeting, but did not take part in the vote, town attorney Steve Wassel said.

The vote was 3-0, with one abstention and one member absent. Wassel would not say how the committee-made up of Brauer, Carol Ancevic, Robert Read, Todd Wiese and Maria Odling-voted. Read was not present.

Mayer, who said he is now officially retired, would not speculate if the firing was related to the apparent investigation into alleged tampering with the town clerk's computer. The police department is currently in possession of the computer after Clerk Dixie Bernsteen reported it not working and cables plugged in incorrectly.

"I have no idea if there is any correlation or connection to that whatsoever," Brauer said. "That was not brought fourth last night in any way, shape or form."

Smith will lead the department as interim chief. Brauer expects the town to advertise the opening.


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